Access to trails is not guaranteed, especially for mountain bikers. In many areas of the United States, there are disagreements and turf battles over trail access.  GORC formed in the late nineties in response to our region lacking a voice for mountain bikers. Our pioneering members realized that the only way to get new trails built and replace existing poorly designed ones was to organize, develop plans, and follow through on them. GORC’s core focus was to establish working relationships with the various land agencies with the goal of designing and maintaining ‘multi-use’ trails.


The St. Louis region features a healthy ratio of trail-to-user density. Trail conflicts often occur in densely populated areas with few riding outlets or where there is a history of misinformation and/or incorrect assumptions. GORC maintains and builds singletrack trails with an eye for sustainability. We try to provide the education and information necessary for trail users to respect and preserve the natural resources, including updated online trail conditions, and tips on riding responsibly.

Responsible riding keeps the gates open for mountain bikers at existing trails and fosters important relationships with land managers and other user groups for the development of new trails.  By adhering to these principles of education, advocacy is often made easier when your reputation precedes you.


Our core mission states that GORC is dedicated to advocacy, design, construction, and maintenance of multi-use trails. When we present trail designs to land managers we do not purposely exclude any user group. Ultimately, it is the land manager who makes the final determination as to which user groups will be permitted on the trail (or at the park as a whole). In addition, we will not advocate for the removal of a particular user group. However, if an opportunity arises from a land manager that is seeking bike-specific trails, we will pursue that opportunity.


GORC has established official relationships with St. Louis County Parks, St. Charles County Parks, St. Charles City, Missouri State Parks, Missouri Conservation Department, City of Wildwood Parks & Recreation, Southern Illinois University (Edwardsville), and the US Forest Service. With all of the above organizations, GORC’s involvement includes trail design, construction and maintenance, technical consulting, leading volunteer trail building days, and providing volunteers at trail building events. In some instances, the land agency may have us work in partnership with a for-profit trail building company to complete a trail project or bike park.


One half of the “minimal advocacy equation” is forging strong relationships with the various land agencies. The other half – and this includes you – is to be respectful on the trail, on social media sites and other public forum. When you pass another trail user you are viewed as the “example and attitude” of the entire mountain biking community right there in front of their eyes. You probably didn’t know you worked in Public Relations. Well now you do! When a rude trail user passes you, how to you perceive “their” sport? We are all in this together and we can all share the trails!